I have talked about all the steps in market research except the last one which is Data Analysis. So, today is finally the day when we will go through data analysis and will thus close this series about market research.
But before jumping forward, let’s first recap what market research is, why you need it when you need it and who should organize it. Here we go!
No matter how good your service is, your product has few chances to succeed without proper market research. It is too dangerous to assume that you already know enough about your target market. Let me tell you the truth “You know nothing, Jon Snow!” So, go perform market research to ensure you are on the right track.
Well, ASAP! You need to carry out market research as soon as you think about that new product or service. Research should be your earliest step. Don’t take it for granted.
Who should conduct market research?
- Product managers
- Anyone else who cares enough about the product/service
So, as I said earlier, data analysis is the last step in market research. Actually, it’s the third one with Planning being the first step and Data Collection the second. Planning involves a few phases which should prepare you for the actual research. I have written a separate article about Planning, so you can check it out for a more detailed look.
Then comes Data Collection which involves collecting quantitative and qualitative data. There are some differences between these two. Here is a quick overview:
- What is the total size of your market?
- What percent share of the market can you potentially have?
- Demographic picture of your potential B2C customers (Age, Gender, Location, Income, Social class, Occupation, Education
- Demographic picture of your potential B2B customers (Industry, Location, Size of firm, Price preferences)
- Where are your potential leads coming from?
- What’s the age range?
- What is the current demand in your target market?
- What are the existing or new customers’ values and beliefs
- Trends in target market — growth trends, trends in consumer preferences, and trends in product development
- Growth potential and opportunity for your product and/or business of your size.
You see? There is a whole lot of data to gather. And you can conduct surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations and anything else to gather this information.
As soon as you have all the data in your hands, start the process of Data Analysis. It’s a stage in market research when qualitative data, quantitative data or a mixture of both, is brought together in order to draw conclusions based on that data. These conclusions then provide enough insights for you to answer your market research questions and validate a new product/service or move on with your existing product/service.
Usually, statistical testing is used during Data Analysis. This is being done to estimate the significance of any conclusions to which the researchers have come.
If you are conducting market research through qualitative methods, you can still measure the results through Data Analysis. You just need to code the results like you would normally do in Quantitative Data Analysis. This form of Data Analysis is known as content analysis.
But before that, let’s see what one should do when dealing with quantitative data analysis. The fact is that the amount of data collected through market research can be huge. And the most important thing here is to use data organization and data reduction techniques to compile and assemble the data for insightful data interpretation. A few of the statistical methods are factor analysis, multiple regression, cluster analysis etc. You might want to research these methods separately to see which one to pick for your project.
Going back to qualitative data analysis, keep in mind that qualitative data can include a lot of text materials. For example, if it’s in the healthcare industry, texts like transcripts of conversations or minutes from meetings can be collected and analyzed. As I have said above, the texts and the qualitative data, in general, can be coded and then analyzed just like quantitative data is done.
This whole conversation regarding Data Analysis might sound scary to you. But it’s not usually as scary as people think it is. Data collection is one thing, data analysis is a completely another thing. You need to carry out both. Don’t overlook these if you want your product or service to succeed in the market. If you feel like you are not the person to conduct data analysis, delegate that work to others. There are a lot of good researchers or even companies that will be willing to do the job for you. It might be a bit costly sometimes depending on the amount of data and your industry, but the game is worth the candle!